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Mart to gauge tourism potential

- Sarusajai stadium to host two more mega events in the New Year

Dec. 28: Sarusajai sports complex here, the venue of the recent flag-down ceremony of the India-Asean car rally, will host another mega event — the International Northeast Tourism Mart — between January 18 and 20.

The Mart, which has the slogan “Go East”, will focus on selling tourism in eastern India, including the seven northeastern states, Sikkim and West Bengal.

Around 150 officials of Asean and SAARC countries handling tourism, tour operators, hoteliers and travel agents, among others, will attend the mart, which is being jointly organised by the ministry of tourism, government of India, and Assam.

Besides, the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, too, will organise its 10th annual convention from January 20 to 22 at the stadium.

The Union tourism ministry, Assam government and the association will be spending an estimated Rs 7 crore on these two mega events, of which, being the host, Assam’s share is estimated to be around Rs 4 crore.

“The tourism mart is going to open the next chapter of India’s tourism which will focus on eastern India, comprising Northeast, Sikkim and West Bengal. Tourists from across the globe can come and enjoy in the jungles of Kaziranga, beaches of Digha, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Shillong and adventure in Tawang or Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh. Governments and people associated with the tourism industry will exchange ideas from their counterparts in Asean, SAARC countries, the UK and the US, among others, during the mart. We will try to familiarise people with the changing trends of tourism worldwide, develop our network and identify the areas in we can market ourselves most,” chairman of the convention Sanjay Basu said here at a news conference.

“We will discuss and try to sharpen our skills on how to sell eastern India and the Northeast through social networking, electronic media and other means of global tourism marketing,” he said.

Principal secretary of Assam tourism department, Himangshu Sekhar Das, said so far, 43 foreign groups had confirmed their participation and they were expecting around 150 participants to visit Guwahati for the mart. “Being the host, we will try to display our culture and extend our hospitality to the participants,” he said.

Asean countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and SAARC member Bangladesh along with five delegates from South Korea and 17 from European countries, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland and the US are likely to attend the event.

Assam tourism minister Chandan Brahma said the state government had received clearance from the state election commission for hosting the mega events, in view of the ensuing panchayat elections.


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